Scarcrow and Mrs. King and all of its original characters are the property of Warner Bros. and Shoot the Moon Producitions. No copyright infringement is intended.
Reference is made to Season 4, Episode 10 "Need to Know"
This story takes place a few days after Dancing with Demons
Lee walked into their bedroom after a long, difficult day. The room was dark except for the dim night stand lamp on Amanda's side of the bed. Amanda lay there asleep with her book resting on her chest. She had obviously fallen asleep while reading it. Lee was hoping that he would have the chance to talk to her before he fell asleep. Their schedules had made it impossible for them connect today for more than a few moments, no matter how hard they tried. Lee quietly slipped into the bathroom and changed out of his work clothes and into his sweatpants and a t-shirt. Before climbing into bed, he took a moment to look at his sleeping wife. She was so beautiful: awake or asleep. He carefully removed the book from her chest and clicked off the light. He was excited to finally lie down and get some rest. Lee slipped in between the sheets and did his best not disturb Amanda. As he lay his head down on his pillow, he was glad his day was finally over: a day that began something like this…
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Lee blindly searched for the source of that infernal beeping. He wanted to throw the alarm clock across the room given that he didn't get much sleep last night; not for lack for trying. Too many things were running through his head all night long: the agency, the boys, Amanda, the baby…you name it, Lee was thinking about it. Lee managed to find the off button for the alarm and stifled a slew of curse words that he felt accurately expressed how he was feeling at the moment. He reached over to find Amanda for a quick cuddle as he struggled to shake the fog in his mind. Unfortunately, all he found was an empty bed. Amanda soon emerged from the bathroom, freshly showered and very peppy.
"Well! Good morning, Sweetheart! I'm not even going to bother asking you how you slept because I already know the answer!"
Lee rubbed his eyes and looked over at Amanda as she stood over him in her robe and towel on her head.
"Yeah….I didn't sleep much again last night."
"I know! You tossed and turned all night long!"
"Sorry, I didn't mean to keep you up. I just can't seem to clear my mind. It seems the more I try, the more cluttered my mind gets and the more I start stressing about things."
"It's ok, Sweetheart, but we've got to find something that will help you sleep. This is night number three that you haven't slept."
"I know! I know!"
Lee sat up in bed and struggled to find the energy to get going.
"Lee! Lee! Come here quickly! Hurry!"
Amanda stood in the middle of the room with her hand on her pregnant belly."
Lee jumped out of bed and rushed over to her side.
"What! What is it, Amanda? Are you ok? Are you in pain?"
Amanda smiled at him.
"No! Give me your hand! Quick!"
Amanda took his outstretched hand and placed it on the right side of her belly.
"Push a little harder! I think you will be able to feel the baby kick! It was kicking like crazy in the shower and the kicks are a lot stronger now. I think you will be able to feel them."
Lee's face lit up like a little kid at Christmas. He had been waiting for this part in the pregnancy since they found out they were expecting. He gently pushed his hand into the side of her stomach, almost bursting with the anticipation of feeling his child move for the first time. Lee patiently waited but couldn't feel anything. He disappointedly looked at Amanda.
"Just be patient! It will happen again!"
Lee and Amanda waited, each not saying a word.
"Oh, sorry, sweetheart. I guess the baby is not going to cooperate."
Lee tried not to show the disappointment that he was feeling inside on his face.
"It's ok. There will be other chances." Lee leaned in and gave Amanda a quick good morning kiss. "What has you up and at 'em so early this morning?"
"Well, I have to make sure the boys have packed everything they need for their ski weekend with Mother and Harry and then I have to meet with Dr. Pfaff around 8."
"Oh I completely forgot that they are leaving today to go skiing. It is really nice of your Mother to take them, get their minds off the kidnapping events of last week."
"Well, she loves to spend time with them and actually…she told me that it was Harry's idea!"
"Really? Huh!" Lee smiled as he thought about how much he loved that Harry was involved in such a personal way in his life.
"Why don't you jump in the shower and I will make you some coffee?"
"Sounds great! See you downstairs."
Amanda playfully swatted Lee's behind as he turned and walked to the bathroom. He flashed her his winning smile and winked.
Lee quickly showered and got dressed. He let out a heavy sigh as he thought of his day ahead: meetings, meetings and more meetings. Some days, he really wished that he was still out in the field all the time. He hated meetings, especially when he had more than one in a day. But at least he would get to see Billy and catch up. As he walked down the stairs to the kitchen, Lee could hear Dotty laughing and chattering away.
"Oh, Amanda! That's wonderful! Oh! I remember when you started kicking hard enough that your daddy could feel it! It was such a thrilling day!" Dotty beamed at her daughter as she felt her grandchild kicking from within.
"What's all the giggling down here, ladies?"
"Lee! Wonderful to see you, dear." Dotty hugged Lee and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "I am just so tickled that the baby is kicking hard enough now to feel it. I forgot how exciting that is! You must be loving it!"
"Actually, I haven't felt it yet. The baby hasn't cooperated to let me feel it."
Lee's disappointment was clearly displayed on his face.
"Come try to feel now, sweetheart." Amanda walked over to Lee and took both of his hands in hers. "Put your hands on either side of my stomach and gently push in." She put his hands where she had been feeling the kicks the most. Lee once again waited in great anticipation…and once again, the baby stopped kicking.
"Anything?" Dotty said wide-eyed and full of excitement.
"Nope! Guess the baby doesn't want its dad to feel it kick!"
"Oh Lee, sweetheart, you'll feel it! Right now you have to be around at the right moment." Amanda said as she kissed him on the cheek.
Lee walked over to the coffee pot and poured himself a cup of coffee, leaned back against the counter and started drinking it.
"Morning Amanda! Scarecrow!" Harry said as he entered the kitchen through the back door.
"Harry! Lovely to see you! You ready to spend a long weekend with the boys?"
"Yes I am, Amanda! Actually, I can't wait! We are going to have a great time! Aren't we baby cakes?" Harry put his arm around Dotty and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Lee yelled up to the boys that it was time to go. Hey sounded like a herd of elephants as the stomped down to the kitchen.
"Hey Grandma! Hey Harry! We are SO excited to get going!" Jamie said with a big smile on his face.
"Now, fellas…did you pack more than on pair of jeans?"
"Mom! We packed everything!" Philip stated.
"OK! OK! I just want to make sure you have a good time. Give me a kiss and make sure you listen to everything your grandmother and Harry tell you to do!"
Philip and Jamie gave both Lee and Amanda a hug and kiss before they headed out the door.
"I can't wait to go down the black diamond slope!" Philip said as he walked out the door.
"NO BLACK DIAMOND!" Amanda yelled after Philip. She looked at Dotty. "Mother…don't let them go down the black diamond….they aren't that good of skiers. "
"Oh, Amanda….don't worry. They will be fine!" Dotty kissed Amanda as she snatched up her gloves and headband. "Enjoy your weekend alone!"
"Don't worry! We will!" Lee chimed in as he shook Harry's hand and kissed Dotty good-bye.
Lee took another sip of coffee. Amanda began picking up the breakfast dishes and putting them in the dishwasher.
"We riding in together this morning, Lee?"
"Probably should take two cars today. I have to go meet with Billy and do some running around. You should take your car in case you need to go somewhere. I will be in and out of the agency all day."
"OK! I'll miss you…I think I am going to get going then. I have a few files I need to get before I meet with Dr. Pfaff."
Amanda gave Lee a passionate kiss full of promises.
"Mrs. Stetson! Are you starting something that you aren't prepared to finish?"
"Oh, I'm prepared…but later tonight when we have the whole house to ourselves!"
Amanda gave Lee another knee buckling kiss. He grabbed her tightly around the waist.
"Why wait?" He said playfully as he attempted to kiss her again.
"Haha! No, no. You have to wait for tonight! I will come find you later this morning after I see Dr. Pfaff."
Amanda grabbed her purse and keys. Before she left she quickly turned back to Lee and hit him with another passion filled kiss and quickly ran out the door before he had a chance to grab her. Lee smiled at the closed door, still tasting her kiss on his lips.
"I don't know what has gotten into her this morning, but I LIKE it!" He said out loud to himself with a chuckle.
Lee walked into the agency through the Georgetown entrance. It had been a while since he walked through that lobby. Once he was transferred out of the Q-Bureau, other means of access proved to be much quicker.
"Good morning, Mrs. Marsten."
"Ah! Good morning, Mr. Stetson! It's been a while."
"Yes, I suppose it has. Anything urgent that I need to know about?"
"Not as far as I know. I think everything has been kind of quiet this morning."
"Good. That is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear."
Lee headed for the elevator but was caught by Francine coming down the stairs from the Q Bureau.
"Lee! Oh I'm glad I caught you! Can you come up stairs for a few minutes?"
Lee checked his watch. His meeting didn't start for another 45 minutes.
Francine smiled and ran up the stairs. Lee reluctantly followed. Mrs. Marsten smiled to herself.
As Lee entered the Q Bureau, he was immediately flooded with many memories; most of them of he and Amanda. They shared their first real kiss here, they fought here, they really got to know each other while working in the Q Bureau. Who knows, if it wasn't for the Q Bureau, maybe he would still be fighting himself on his feelings for Amanda.
"Lee? Lee?...Earth to Lee!"
Lee snapped back to reality to see Francine waving her hand in front of his face.
"Sorry, Francine. What is it? What did you need?" Lee said curtly.
"Well good morning to you, too!"
"Uh…sorry. I Just had a bad ride into work this morning. What's up?"
"Oh….well, I just wanted to talk to you about a few of the agents in the freshman class. Most of them will be desk duty qualified but there are a few that are FINALLY starting to make something of themselves and seem like they will be decent field agents."
"That's great….that is the first encouraging thing I have heard you say about this class."
"I know! I want to take them on a few field tests and I was wondering if you would be willing to help me with that? I know you don't get out into the field very often and I thought it might be fun for you. We would…."
He didn't mean to, but Lee began to tune out Francine's diatribe. Lee sat on the corner of the desk that used to be Amanda's. He looked at her empty chair and began to realize how much he missed working so closely with her every day. Now that the marriage was out in the open, they were able to see each other every night which was wonderful. But he really missed their interaction as partners at the agency. It wasn't until this moment that he realized this.
"…and a night surveillance training. What do you think?"
Lee realized that he hadn't heard a word Francine said for the last 2 minutes. Rather than have her repeat it all again, he just pretended that he heard her.
"Sounds great! Use your best judgment!"
Francine smiled ear to ear. Her eyes got wide with excitement.
"Oh, Lee that's great! Thanks so much for agreeing to help out! The recruits are going to be thrilled that they will get to work with the great Scarecrow!"
Lee quickly realized that he agreed to something that he didn't want to do. "Damn it!" he screamed in his head. Once he figured out what he agreed to, he could hopefully find a way to get out of it.
"Sure. You're welcome, Francine. Now if I only knew what it was that I agreed to…."
"We'll see you after lunch in the motor pool!"
Lee smiled weakly at Francine and began to head out the door.
"Oh I almost forgot!"
Lee turned afraid to hear what Francine was about to say.
"Amanda was looking for you about 20 minutes ago. She said to come see her as soon as you got in."
"Is everything ok?"
"I think so. She didn't seem upset or stressed. But I did get to feel the baby kick! You know I am not the motherly type, but I do have to say that was pretty cool! Don't you think?"
Lee scowled at Francine and exited the Q Bureau. Francine watched the door close very confused as to what she had said to upset him.
Lee took the back stairs down to the bull pen level. "Great! It seems everyone has felt my baby kick but me!" he mumbled to himself as the hurried down the stairs.
He barely recognized the bull pen anymore. The renovations were finally over and it looked like a work place once again instead of a disaster area. Each work station was now equip with a computer, there were now multiple printers on the floor rather than just one, Amanda's suggestion to have a small meeting area on the floor where people could sit and discuss things rather than standing beside someone's desk was well received and was in full use. Lee scanned the room to see if Amanda was anywhere to be found and of course, she was not. He walked as quickly as he could to his office before he was stopped by someone wanting something from him.
As Lee entered his office, he saw a note had been taped to his phone receiver. He was guessing that it was from Amanda. He took off his jacket and put it over the back of his desk chair. Snatching the note from the phone, he immediately recognized Amanda's handwriting. He sat down at his desk and read the note: "Lee-Came looking for you about 8:45. The baby was kicking and I wanted you to feel it. Thought you would be in by now. Hope everything is ok. Had a good session with Dr. Pfaff. He wants me to have more training at the shooting range with Leatherneck. I will be there from 10:00-10:30. Come meet me there if you can. Love-Amanda PS-Francine is looking for you. I think she needs a favor! Just wanted to give you a heads up!"
Lee checked his watch: 10:17. Damn! He didn't realize how long Francine had been talking his ear off. If he hurried, he could maybe catch Amanda before she left. Just then, his phone rang.
"Hey, Billy. What's up? I thought we were meeting this morning?"
"I'm tied up at the White House. Can we make it a lunch meeting instead?"
"Uh…yeah that should be fine. Do you want to meet here or at the restaurant?"
"Why don't we say Emilio's at 12:30?"
"OK sounds great."
"And Lee, feel free to bring Amanda if you'd like. I haven't seen her for a while. Might be nice to catch up."
"OK Billy, you got it. Emilio's at 12:30. See you then."
Lee hung up the phone and prepared to make the mad dash to the shooting range so he could catch Amanda. He flung open the door to his office to find Dr. Pfaff on the other side getting ready to knock. Lee hung his head and sighed. "This is not my day" he muttered under his breath.
"Dr. Pfaff…..I was on my way…"
"This will just take a few minutes, Lee. Mind if we chat?"
The Dr. pushed his way into Lee's office and took a seat on the couch. Lee was quickly becoming annoyed at the Dr.'s pushiness. He never really cared for him much anyway.
"Uh…I guess not!"
Lee heavily sat in one of the chairs opposite the couch. He placed his elbows on his knees and ran his hands through his hair.
"So…Doc…what is it that I can do for you?"
Dr. Pfaff leaned back on the couch and examined Lee for a moment.
"Lee, you seem upset. Should we schedule an appointment for you to come and talk to me?"
"NO! I DON'T..", Lee caught himself as he realized he was yelling. "I don't need an appointment. I am just having a bad morning. What's up?"
"Well, I just wanted to talk to you about Amanda. I suppose you know we had a session this morning?"
"Yeah, I knew. What about her? How is she doing?"
"She is actually doing remarkably well. She was on top of the world this morning. If I didn't know better, I would say that killing that woman didn't bother her at all."
"But I think she is handling it a little too well. You don't go from a person that can barely pick up a gun to someone that unloads three bullets into someone and not have a little difficulty dealing with that."
"You make it sound like she murdered Ekaterina in cold blood! She was protecting Philip and Jamie! I was there, Doc. I witnessed it firsthand."
"And you think she was justified?"
"Hell yes she was justified!" The volume of Lee's voice has increased significantly. "The woman was crazy! She had spent the last 15 years plotting her revenge on me. She kidnapped Philip and Jamie and had the barrel of a gun planted against Philip's skull when Amanda shot her."
Lee rose from his chair and began to pace.
"Do you think that she would have actually shot Philip?"
Lee stopped short and looked Pfaff straight in the eyes.
"Do I think that she would have shot Philip? You're damn straight I do! She shot her own daughter right in the head not 5 minutes before hand. Hell, I got hit with some of Natasha's brain matter as the bullet ripped through her skull. There was no doubt that Philip was next. If Amanda hadn't of done what she did…"
Lee swallowed hard and tried to regain his composure. Pfaff studied him and his emotions.
"If Amanda hadn't have done what she did what, Lee?
"They'd all be dead! That's what! And maybe me, too."
Lee was so annoyed with Pfaff right now, he wanted nothing more than to punch his lights out.
"Well, never the less, Stetson, I think that Amanda is not dealing with her feelings on this issue. I sent her for some more training at the firing squad. She did express concern that after the fact, she was afraid that she could have shot Philip or Jamie. She is not confident in her aim."
"Yeah, I know."
Pfaff stood up from the couch and headed to the door.
"Well, that's all I wanted, Stetson. Catch up with you later."
As he opened the door to leave Lee's office, Lee could see Amanda entering the bullpen. She caught Lee's eye and smiled. He couldn't help smile at the sight of her, either. Lee stepped out into the bullpen and headed towards Amanda. The freshman agents were on break at the same time. One of them cornered Lee as he desperately tried to make his way to Amanda. She was very determined to speak to Lee and blocked his way.
"Agent Stetson! Agent Desmond told us that you are going to be working with some of us later today!"
Lee looked over at Amanda. She had also been caught in an unwanted conversation with the file clerk from the records department.
"Uh….what? Oh, yeah. Happy to do it." Lee said as he kept his eyes on Amanda.
"That is so great! Imagine! I might get to work with Scarecrow! How cool…."
Lee drowned out the rookie's jibber jabber and looked to Amanda. She also was staring across the room at her husband. Her eyes screamed to have someone help her out of this conversation. She would politely nod from time to time. Lee didn't think the file clerk even noticed that she wasn't paying attention. She began to make a large gesture pointing to her stomach and mouthing "Kicking! Right now!" to Lee.
"Will you excuse me?" Lee said to the rookie as he walked past her towards Amanda. Finally reaching his destination, he helped her to escape her captor. "Amanda, excuse me. I hate to interrupt, but I need to speak to you right away."
Amanda's eyes showed intense relief.
"Oh, yes of course! Will you please excuse me? It was lovely to chat with you."
Lee placed his hand on the small of Amanda's back and led her down the hall to an empty conference room. They both walked inside and shut the door.
"Oh, Lee! Thank you! I…."
Amanda's chatter was silenced by Lee pulling her into a deep and passionate kiss. Amanda responded by pulling him close and grabbing the back of his head, letting her fingers play in his hair. They both then pulled back before the kiss got them too worked up.
"Well! I like that hello! Lee, where have you been? I expected to see you hours ago!"
Lee sat on the edge of the conference table and held Amanda's hands in his. He let out a sigh as he ran his thumb over the back of her hand.
"It has been a crazy morning! Starting with my ride in today."
Lee pulled Amanda closer to him and put his arms around her waist. He leaned in close to her so that they were forehead to forehead. His eyes looked deep into Amanda's eyes. She could tell by his expression that she was in a bit of hot water.
"Amanda?" he said with a slightly annoyed tone to his voice.
Her eyes widened and she swallowed hard before she answered.
"Did you forget to put gas in the vette yesterday like I asked you to?"
"Ooohhhhhhh! Ummmm…" she said in a gravely yet squeaky tone. "Well, I guess I did."
Lee leaned back a bit so that they were no longer forehead to forehead.
"Amanda! I told you that the gas gage wasn't working right and to get gas! I ran out on my way here this morning! I had to walk two miles to the nearest gas station!"
"Oh, Lee! I'm sorry! I just forgot!"
"Well don't just forget again! Amanda! That could have been you! And you would be out walking in the cold in your condition!"
"Why didn't you call me on the car phone? I would have come to pick you up."
"Because I was on Reynolds Street and there's no service there!"
Amanda looked at him with a sheepish expression. "Oh, yeah….Reynolds. No good….I really am sorry." Amanda moved in closer to Lee, sliding her arms around his chest. "Is there, uh…anything I can do to make it up to you?"
Amanda looked at Lee with her best seductive look: her warm brown eyes dancing with suggestive looks. He pulled her in closer and nuzzled her neck.
"Hmmmm, well I do believe that you already made some promises this morning that we were going to take care of tonight. But I do have a suggestion." Lee pulled her close and whispered into her ear. Amanda inhaled quickly and began to blush a little.
"Reeeeeallllly? Huh! Well, I think that could be arranged, Scarecrow. We do have the house to ourselves tonight."
Lee gave Amanda a devilish smirk and gave her another kiss. He pulled back quickly as he remembered lunch.
"Amanda! I almost forgot. I am having lunch with Billy today and he would like you to come."
Amanda's expression turned to disappointment.
"I can't. I have a meeting with research to try and figure out why the research on E….on my last assignment was so full of holes. It's important and I can't miss it."
The fact that Amanda had trouble saying Ekaterina's name was not lost on Lee. Maybe Dr. Pfaff was right after all.
"OK. Well I will send him your love." Lee placed his hands on Amanda's belly as he gave her one last kiss. "I don't suppose the baby is moving around right now?"
Amanda shook her head. "Afraid not, sweetheart."
"OK-well I'll catch up with you after lunch. Oh Damn!"
"What? What is it?"
"I forgot I am supposed to help Francine with something after lunch. Some rookie training."
Amanda began to laugh.
"She found you, huh? Didn't you get my note?"
"Yeah I did but it was too late! And the worst part is, I wasn't really even paying attention! I don't know what the hell I agreed to!"
"Well that will teach you to pay attention!" Amanda laughed some more. Lee couldn't help but smile at the sound. "Well, I will give you a call before I head home tonight to see if you're back. And you do the same."
"You got it! Love you!"
"Love you, too!" Amanda said as she walked out the door.
Lee sighed a happy sigh. Even 5 minutes with Amanda was enough to rejuvenate him for a little while.
Lee sat at the table at Emilio's and waited for Billy to arrive. He hated when people ran late. Lee was not known for his patience and what little he had left today was wearing very thin. He would wait until quarter of and if Billy hadn't arrived yet, he was going to head back to the agency.
"Lee! Sorry I'm late. No Amanda?" Bill said in a disappointed tone.
"Hey, Billy, no she had a meeting with research that was pretty important. She sends her love."
"How is she feeling these days?"
"Physically, she's really good! Tons of energy. I think she really loves being pregnant. The baby is moving a lot these days. And I hope that soon, I won't be the only one that hasn't felt it kick!"
"What do you mean?"
"Every time I go to feel the baby move, it stops kicking! Seems it will move for everyone but its father!"
Billy let out a chuckle.
"Lee, you'll feel it soon enough! And before you know it the baby will actually be here!"
Lee smiled a crooked smile-one that was half pure joy and excitement and half pure paralyzing fear. His expression soon began to change to all fear. He began to hold his breath as the reality began to sink in that very soon, the baby WOULD be here and everything would change.
"Hahahaha! Breathe, man! It's going to be ok! You're going to be a great father!"
Lee let out a sharp exhale.
"Yeah…yeah I guess you're right! It will all be ok."
He relaxed a little and smiled once again.
"What about emotionally?"
"You said physically Amanda was fine. How about emotionally? How is she dealing with the whole Egorov situation?"
Lee leaned back in the booth seat and let out a heavy sigh.
"To be honest, Billy…..I don't know. She seems like she is dealing with it ok, but every once in a while I see little signs that point to a different scenario. And today, Pfaff came to see me to tell me that he is concerned and doesn't think she is really dealing with it. I wish I knew what to do."
"Well, Scarecrow…this was a big step for Amanda. Not only did she fire her weapon at someone, she killed someone. The first time I had to take a life, it took me a long time to be OK with that. Maybe this is just how she is dealing with it."
"I hope so….but I don't know. I guess only time will tell."
"Good afternoon, gentlemen. Can I take your order?"
Lee looked up at the waitress and immediately recognized her: Crystal, one of his many ex-girlfriends. Amanda had asked him about her once when she found her pink satin, monogramed bathrobe in the back of the closet in his old apartment.
"Lee? Lee Stetson?"
"Crystal…..hi, how are you?" Lee awkwardly replied. Billy looked at Lee with a surprised expression that quickly changed to a stifled laugh when he realized that she was one of Lee's ex's.
"Long time no see or return phone calls, Lee!"
"Well, you know….my job took me out of town quite a bit and…."
"Uh-huh. Sure. What can I get for you?"
Billy tried to ease the tension by blurting out his order first.
"I'll have the Ruben."
"Sure, no problem. And you? What do you want?"
"If looks could kill!" Lee thought. "Make that two and a couple of glasses of water."
Crystal gave a fake smile and trotted back to the kitchen. Billy could no longer stifle his laugh. Lee looked at him with a look that was a mix of embarrassment and anger.
"Oh come on, Lee! Your list of women before Amanda wasn't exactly a short one! It's bound to happen that you run into some of them every now and again."
"What was it that we need to talk about?" Lee said changing the subject. Crystal brought them each a glass of water. Billy's glass had a lemon wedge, Lee's did not. Lee picked up his glass in his left hand and brought it to his mouth to drink. Crystal noticed his wedding ring.
"You're married! Lee Stetson is married? What happened to, 'Oh I'm not the marrying type?', huh?"
"Well I guess I just finally found the right woman!"
"HUH! Well thanks a lot!" Crystal stormed off.
"That sounded a lot better in my head!" Lee confessed to Billy. Billy burst out in laughter once again.
"Oh, come on, Billy. Let's just talk some shop. What's going on in the world that we should be aware of?"
Billy's face suddenly became serious.
"Germany." He said flatly.
"East Germany to be specific. Lots of uprisings and stirrings happening."
"Like the dissolving of Communism."
"What? Really? Billy…this is huge!"
"That's what we hear. Lee we gotta send some teams over to find out what is happening. We can't be wrong about this."
"Billy….I hope that you're not asking me to go because the baby…."
"No, of course not Lee. You are administration now! You need to put some of your best agents on this and soon. I was thinking about Jackson for one. How has she been performing?"
"Jackson would be a good choice….yeah a very good choice. She's been really proving to be a very good agent. Boxleitner, too. I have been thinking about pairing them up. This would be a good assignment to test that idea. How soon do they need to leave?"
"By the end of next week if possible."
"Ok, let's meet Monday morning with them to go through the specifics. Does that work for you?"
"Yeah, that should be fine."
"Good. What else?"
"We can save the rest of the shop talk for Monday. Nothing else is pressing. How is Francine and her rookies?"
Lee let out a heavy sigh. Billy immediately knew what that meant.
"She's fine…doing a good job. But she roped me into helping her this afternoon and I am kicking myself for saying yes."
Crystal approached the table. She placed Billy's sandwich before him and smiled. As she placed Lee's order on the table, she knocked over his glass of water onto his lap. Lee quickly stood up at the shock of the water pouring all over his lap. He looked at Crystal with disgust.
"Woops! Oh, I am soooo sorry! It was totally an accident! Let me get you a towel." Crystal said in her most insincere saccharin tone.
"Oh, I am SURE it was an accident." Lee grabbed the towel from Crystal and blotted the water off his pants the best he could. He heavily sat back down in the booth. "Just add it to the list for today!"
Francine flung open the door to Lee's office. Her face was flushed and she spoke in an exasperated tone.
"Lee! We've been waiting for you! I thought you were going to meet us at the motor pool!"
"Easy, Francine! I just got back from lunch with Billy. He was late and we had a lot to talk about. What the hell are we doing anyway?"
"I told you this morning. We are going out in the field to practice tailing. I thought I would take two agents and you would take two. You can teach your car how to follow without being seen and I can teach my car how to lose a tail. Then we can switch. OK?"
"Great", Lee said flatly. "Let me give Amanda a quick call and I'll be right down."
"Alright , but hurry up!"
Francine dashed out of his office as Lee picked up the phone and dialed Amanda's extension. No answer. He quickly scribbled a note on a post-it and stuck it to the inside of their adjoining door.
"Amanda-going out in the field with Francine and the freshmen. See you at home tonight. I am looking forward to our "plans" for the evening! Love you-L"
Lee grabbed his keys and locked up his office for the night. "What the hell have I gotten myself into" he asked himself as he patiently waited for the elevator. As the doors opened, Amanda appeared, getting off the elevator. A smile quickly overtook Lee's face.
"Lee! I am so glad I ran into you! The baby is kicking like crazy! Give me your hand!"
Amanda took Lee's hand and placed it on her swollen belly where she last felt the kicks. She looked at him with love and excitement in her eyes. He was excited that he would finally get to feel the baby move. He waited….and waited. The excitement in both their faces soon melted into disappointment.
"Oh, sweetheart, I'm sorry! I thought for sure you'd feel it this time!"
"Guess our baby doesn't want its dad touching him…or her."
"NO! It's not that at all. It's just….bad timing I guess. How was your lunch with Billy?"
Lee thought back to Crystal and the unexpected bath he took from the glass of water being spilled on him.
"Uh….about par for the day. I gotta get going before Francine kills me. I'll see you at home?"
"OK, sounds good."
Amanda leaned in and gave Lee a very quick peck on the lips. They tried to avoid public displays of affection while at the agency, but every once in a while, they indulged. The elevator doors opened and Lee got on. "Love you" he mouthed to her as the doors were closing.
Lee got off the elevator and walked to the garage where Francine was waiting. Before him were two nondescript brown sedans complete with 4 newbie agents very anxious to get out on the road-one of them being the over eager agent her met earlier in the day.
"Agent Stetson! Hi! We met earlier today! I am Jill, Jill Bassett and this is Tom Romeo. We are SO excited that we get to be in your car today! Driving with the Scarecrow!"
Lee took an instant dislike to Agent Bassett. He didn't like people that he felt were kissing up to him, which she definitely was.
"Nice to meet you both. Should we get started? Who's driving first?" He knew the answer before he even said the question.
"Oh I am!" Jill exclaimed.
"Well, let's get to it then, shall we?"
The three agents got into the car. Francine and her group had already left. Lee made sure that the walkie-talkie that Francine left in the car for him was on in case they couldn't find them. Jill started the car and gunned it down the parking garage ramp sending Lee flying back into his seat.
"Whoa there cowgirl! The first rule of surveillance is to NOT be noticed. You come flying out of here and you are going to have the attention of every person in this garage and every person you pass out on the street. Subtlety is what we want!"
"Uh, sorry Agent Stetson."
Jill eased off on the speed and pulled out onto the main road. Lee let her act on instinct to see where she would go. So far, she was driving the same route that he would have.
"There they are!" Romeo shouted from the back seat.
Bassett rapidly picked up speed to catch up, cutting off three cars in the process. Lee grabbed the dashboard and stared at her.
"What is it that you don't get here, Bassett? We DON'T want to draw attention to ourselves! Cutting off three cars in the first two minutes is DRAWING ATTENTION!" Lee reprimanded.
"Sorry, sir! I didn't want to lose them!"
"Stay at least 3 car lengths behind them. Now keep in mind that most people won't know, or shouldn't know, immediately that you are following them. They do, so they are going to do whatever they can to lose you. So far, I'm not sure that they see us-which given your last driving stunt, is a freakin' miracle."
Romeo let out a soft chuckle from the back seat. Lee was wishing that he was anywhere but here at the moment. The surveillance car approached a changing light. Lee waited to see what Bassett would do. He felt the car start to speed up.
"STOP! You need to stop for the light!" He shouted. The car came to a screeching halt sending Romeo flying in the back seat.
"But we'll lose them!"
"No we won't! This is a straight away….they're not going anywhere we can't find them."
The light turned green and she peeled out as fast as she could.
They once again came upon the car with the other agents. They turned off of the main road and onto some more rural back roads.
"What do we do now? There are no other cars to hide behind!"
"Keep your distance. There's no law saying that there can only be one car on this road. Just try to look like you happen to be going in the same direction."
The car ahead began to speed up. Bassett matched their acceleration.
"OK, they've spotted us. Let's pull over and…"
"Don't worry! I'll get them!"
Bassett began to chase the car in hot pursuit rather than just follow it. She brought the car within inches of the bumper of Francine's car. Francine began to yell over the radio.
"Lee! Lee what the hell are you guys doing?"
Bassett pulled into the oncoming lane and drove next to the lead car, trying to run them off the road. Lee voluntarily put on his seat belt and grabbed on to the door handle. He could see Francine yelling in the front seat of the other car.
"Pull over! Pull over!" He kept yelling but Bassett wouldn't listen. She drove the car in front of the lead car and screeched to a stop sideways in the road, blocking the way for any cars to pass. The lead car slammed on its brakes and pulled off into the embankment. Bassett began to cheer! Romeo sat in the back seat in shock over what had just happened.
"Pull. Over. PULL OVER! Get this car off the road!" Lee screamed.
Bassett pulled the car next to Francine's car and turned off the motor.
"GET OUT!" Lee yelled as he grabbed the keys from the ignition.
"But I was just…"
"Get out of the car…NOW!"
Bassett scrambled out of the car and stood by the side of the road. Lee flung open the passenger side door, undid his seatbelt and got out of the car. Francine immediately came after him.
"What the hell was that, Scarecrow? This was supposed to be a lesson in surveillance not how to run someone off the road!"
"Well don't yell at me! Yell at your rookie, Bassett. She had a hard time understanding certain key elements in following…..like how to NOT get us killed! Don't you train these candidates, Francine? She was driving like a bat outta hell! She didn't listen to one word that I said. I never told her to run you off the road! That was all her idea."
"Of course I train them! What the hell do you think I am doing day after day?"
"Well it looks like your curriculum might need some revisions!"
"Well! I think that perhaps our lesson is over for today!" Francine snapped at Lee.
"Swell idea! Bassett, you're riding with Francine back to the agency. Let's go Romeo."
Romeo quickly jumped into the passenger seat as Lee got in the car and turned the engine over. Lee gave one last glare at Francine before the sped off towards the agency. Romeo was too afraid to say a word to his superior and Lee wasn't in a chatty mood. It made for a very long drive back to the agency.
Lee pulled back into the parking garage and got out of the car without saying a word to Romeo. He slammed the door and headed for the door to the agency. Being back sooner than expected, Lee decided to see if Amanda had left yet. He got onto the elevator, pushing the coats out of the way. He pushed the button for his floor. The elevator began to move and then jerked to a stop. The lights flickered and went out altogether. Lee frantically pushed the button to try to get the elevator to move, but to no avail.
"You have GOT to be kidding me! What the hell else can go wrong today?" Lee said aloud. He grabbed the emergency phone and waited for someone on the other end to answer.
"This is Agent Stetson. I am stuck in the elevator…OK so how long till you CAN get me out?...AN HOUR! What? No….you need to get me out now!...Well, figure it out and come open the damned doors!"
Lee slammed down the phone and had a seat on the floor. He might as well make himself comfortable while he waited.
"I guess it could be worse…..I could be stuck in here with Bassett."
The doors to the elevator finally opened. Lee squinted and shielded his eyes as the light from the hallway stung his eyes that had been in the dark for the last 2 hours. He stood up and climbed out of the elevator that was stuck between floors.
"What the hell took you guys so long. You said a half hour and it's been.." Lee checked his watch, "OVER 2 HOURS! Damn it!"
"Uh, we're sorry sir but the elevator has a series of locks on it as a safety precaution. For some reason, the when he elevator got stuck, it sent the system into lockdown mode. It took us a while to figure out how to override the locks."
"Well it's about time!" Lee walked into the now empty bullpen and into his office. He had planned on being home by now and enjoying the start of the weekend alone with Amanda. She was surely already gone and at home by now. He looked into her office. It was dark. The note he had left on her door was gone. Lee let out a heavy sigh and decided it was time to head home and get this day over with. Amanda was probably wondering where he was. He decided to call her from the car phone rather than waste any more time at work. Lee took the back stairs out to the alley way and walked to where he had parked his car this morning.
Lee was very happy to finally be in his car heading back home. This had been a not so stellar day at the agency. Lee picked up the car phone and began to dial. That was when he noticed that the phone didn't have a charge and for whatever reason. Lee threw the receiver into the passenger seat.
"Whatever!" he said aloud to himself.
Traffic was very bad tonight. "Everyone must be trying to get out of DC for the weekend" he thought to himself. The sun had long since set. Lee was tired driving home. He couldn't wait to see Amanda, change into some comfortable clothes and have a pleasant evening at home with just the two of them.
Lee was never so glad to see 4247 Maplewood Drive as he was today. The house was dark except for the light on in their bedroom.
"Amanda must be working on that little request I mentioned earlier!" he thought to himself.
Lee virtually sprang out of the car and into the house. He was so glad to be home. On the counter near the phone, Amanda had left him a note. "Resting upstairs. Dinner is in the oven on low. I hope you are ok. Please come wake me when you get home if I am asleep."
Lee turned off the oven and took out the dinner plate. He grabbed a fork and took a few mouthfuls of the baked chicken and rice pilaf that Amanda had made. He decided that he would skip the broccoli for tonight. Lee walked into their bedroom after a long, difficult day. The room was dark except for the dim night stand lamp on Amanda's side of the bed. Amanda lay there asleep with her book resting on her chest. She had obviously fallen asleep while reading it. Lee quietly slipped into the bathroom and changed out of his work clothes and into his sweatpants and a t-shirt. He looked at the water stain on his dress pants. "I knew I did the right thing by not calling YOU back, Crystal!" Lee shook his head at the memory of today's lunch. He shuttered as he thought of working with the new agents and how reckless Agent Bassett had been. "Francine better can her quickly or send her to a listening post in Alaska!"
Lee turned off the bathroom light and headed into the bedroom. Before climbing into bed, he took a moment to look at his sleeping wife. She was so beautiful: awake or asleep. He carefully removed the book from her chest and clicked off the light. The moonlight streamed into their bedroom and created a soft glow. As much as he was looking forward to their big plans for the evening, he didn't want to disturb Amanda's rest; their plans could wait until tomorrow. Lee slipped in between the sheets and did his best not disturb Amanda. As he lay his head down on his pillow, he was glad his day was finally over. He lay there on his back for a few moments and stared at the ceiling. He tried to relax but his mind was racing a mile a minute.
He then felt Amanda's hand gently take his. Without saying a word, she placed his hand on her stomach and placed her hand atop of his. She gently pressed both of their hands into her flesh. There it was! There it finally was! Lee felt the kicks and movements of the baby-HIS baby. He had waited a lifetime for this moment whether he realized it or not. Tears began to well up in his eyes and a look of love and amazement overtook his face. Amanda gently squeezed his hand as they both felt their baby flip flop around in her belly. Lee turned his head towards Amanda and found that she was watching him and smiling. Tears were also beginning to form in her big brown eyes.
"See, Daddy? I told you it wasn't personal! The baby just wanted to wait until we were all together before it let you feel it move!"
Lee didn't have any words to say. He just lay there beside Amanda and felt the baby moving. The impending birth of his child became much more real to him in those moments. He grew more excited than ever. Eventually, the baby quieted down and stopped moving. Lee moved his body closer to Amanda's stomach. He lifted up her shirt and placed a soft, tender kiss where he had felt the baby move. He then moved up to Amanda's head and placed a more passionate kiss on her lips. He wrapped his arms around her and placed his head next to hers on her pillow.
"How was your day, Sweetheart?"
Lee quickly thought about all the things that went wrong today: car running out of gas, getting cornered by Pfaff, the freshmen agents, the elevator…..Crystal. He then thought about the miracle that had just occurred.
"It was one of the best days of my life." he whispered in her ear as he held her tighter. Definitely one of the best days of my life."